From what we last heard, WarnerMedia was reportedly offloading their anime-streaming service, Crunchyroll to Sony Pictures Entertainment, for at least USD$1 Billion. Now, the companies have allegedly entered the final stages of their negotiations.
Sony is known for its extensive entertainment offerings. Homes of music, movies, games and even the highly anticipated PlayStation 5, the company is forecast to reach USD$4.79 billion for the fiscal year ending March (via Nikkei Asia).
By acquiring Crunchyroll, Sony will gain their entire anime library, consisting of 1,000 titles including the popular JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Haikyuu! and The Ancient Magnus’ Bride. It will also gain all 3 million subscribers of the streamer. This adds to Sony’s 95 per cent stake in another anime-streaming service, Funimation; which has licensed hits such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Attack on Titan, Cowboy Bepop and Free!.
Till now, Sony has already been licensing its anime produced via Aniplex Inc, such as Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED and The Promised Neverland, to other anime-steaming services. With the Crunchyroll library, Sony will bulk up its entertainment offerings and place it on an even footing in the streaming market that is currently dominated by the likes of Netflix and HBO Max.
If the deal does go through, Sony will be spending more than 100 billion yen (USD$957 million) acquire Crunchyroll from AT&T. This will allow Sony to gain its 70 million members around the world and 3 million paying subscribers.
According to The Association of Japanese Animations, in 2018, the global anime market was worth about USD$21 billion, which is 1.5 times that of five years prior. The overseas market for anime accounts for nearly half of the total demand.
Following this trend, Netflix has also announced 16 new titles in their exciting anime lineup for 2021. These include an anime adaptation of hit-comedy manga The Way of the Househusband and the previously DVD and Blu-Ray exclusive Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan.